In cities, humans often try to kill Night. But in the wild, there are no lampposts or floodlit landmarks. Just the sky, painting the land as it will.
There are animals in these forests that seldom appear except in starlight. I have ambitions to find them – but in the meantime, the impossible colours steal the show.
And there is a king in waiting amongst the trees. This moose is a lot younger than the giant who showed up yesterday.
When night does fall, lights glow in the grass.
A lynx! Ghost cat of the forest. Even before we drew close, I recognised it – nothing else on earth produces such brilliant eyeshine. Eighteen years ago, I saw another Canadian lynx in the car headlights in British Columbia, and you never forget that glow.
This one is resting on the forest edge. I take a short movie – the photo is a still from it – and leave him be.
Days are not complete without Night. And no forest is complete without its cats.
September 2018 – Canada is riddled with water. Rivers, waterfalls, mountain lakes – frequent material for tourist advertisements, yet quiet corners remain where wild creatures swim.
Beaver: ecosystem engineer. They’re a hot topic in the UK at the moment because the reintroduction of the closely-related European species has shown a lot of promise, not only for biodiversity but also in reducing flooding of towns. Beavers change the environment, more than any wild animal except perhaps elephants. They slow rivers, create pools, fell trees – creating microhabitats, in other words, which other species eagerly use.
And the beaver’s fans don’t get much bigger than moose! These fabulous ungulates often browse in the marshy habitat created by beavers.
This one is clearly ready for the rut. A moose’s antlers can weigh close to 80lb, one of the heaviest crowns in the animal kingdom.
The weather’s still turning.
But a woodchuck is still awake. Hibernation hasn’t called him to a winter burrow yet.